We're committed to improving the design quality of buildings on the Northern Beaches and establishing a ‘design excellence’ system that ensures buildings and the public domain are well designed.

Our Design and Sustainability Advisory Panel provides high-level, independent, expert advice on urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and sustainability for significant applications and planning proposals. This ensures the promotion and delivery of high-quality built environments which feature design excellence and sustainability.

The panel reviews SEPP 65 applications, other residential development such as multi-unit housing, boarding houses, seniors living houses, as well as large commercial and industrial applications.

Note: DSAP meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of every month and the cut off date for applications to be referred to the panel is two weeks prior to the meeting. Any applications received after the cut off date will be scheduled for the following meeting date.

The Minister of Planning has issued directions that Local Planning Panels should consider any advice from a design review report from a design panel in its assessment and determination.

The advice from the design panel may be used to:

  • Support the application in a flexible way where the panel has identified this will achieve better outcomes,
  • To establish if the recommendations of the design panel have been followed, or
  • As evidence of refusing development consent if the panel's advice has not been adopted.


The Charter outlines the role of the Panel, the process and types of proposals that will be dealt with by the Panel and how the Panel members will be selected.

Panel Structure

Each Panel will consist of five members, selected from a pool on a rotating basis, and will include:

  • The Chair
  • 2 Architects/Urban Design experts
  • A Sustainability expert
  • A Landscape expert

Panel Members

The following persons have been appointed to the Design and Sustainability pool of panel members:


Stephen Collier – Stephen has 30+ years of experience in architecture and urban design and currently sits on both Bayside and Hornsby Shire’s design review panels. He has worked in both the public and private sectors including several years with the NSW Government’s Urban Design Advisory Service (UDAS).

Architects/Urban Design Experts

Alexandra McRobert - Bio coming soon. 

Kerry Hunter – Kerry is an honours graduate in architecture from UNSW having previously completed a Diploma in (Fine) Art. She has design review experience as a current member of the ACT National Capital Design Review Panel and the Ku-ring-gai Council urban design panel.

Ed Lippmann – Ed has been a registered Architect from almost 40 years. He has chaired design and award juries for the AIA as well as Design Excellence Competitions for Sydney City Council. He also teaches regularly at Sydney University, University of New South Wales and UTS, and lectures at Newcastle and Melbourne Universities.

Jim Koopman – Jim has been the Director of architecture at Allen Jack + Cottier for the past 12 years. Jim’s experience ranges from a wide variety of master planning and urban design projects for public and private sector clients. He recently worked on the Linfield Village Hub for Ku-ring-gai Council and currently sits on the Bayside Council Design Review Panel. Jim is also a member of the Northern Beaches Strategic Reference Group Places for People.

Russell Olsson – Russell is the director of OLSSON Architecture and Urban Projects. He specialises in urban design, urban housing and community buildings. Russell was a member of the City of Sydney Planning team that won the Royal Australian Planning Institute’s Presidents Award and the National Planning Ministers Award. Russell is a member of the Parramatta Council Design Review Panel.

Simon Mather – Simon has a Masters in Architecture from the University of Technology Sydney and is the founder of MAKO Architecture. He has contributed to a range of large scale projects including the Sunnyfield Masterplan, Sustainable Sydney 2050 and the Montpellier Place Terraces.

Stefan Meissner - Bio coming soon. 

Landscape Experts

Esther Dickins – Esther is a registered landscape architect and urban designer with over 20 years’ experience. She has worked with clients in both the public and private sectors on projects including Coffs Harbour Hospital and The Canopy, Lane Cove. In 2019, she was appointed as a member of the Government Architect of NSW State Design Review Panel as part of the pilot program initiative for Landscape Architecture.

Guy Sturt – Guy has worked as a Landscape Architect since completing his degree in 1985. Throughout his career he has held positions in some of Australia's major Landscape Architectural firms. He has been principal since 1992 and both managed and designed on a range of projects including residential, public open space, environmental rehabilitation, commercial, industrial, tourism and seniors living development in various forms.

Ted Webster - Ted is a Registered Landscape Architect with a Certificate IV in Horticulture Parks and Gardens and has been practising in Australia for 27 years.  His appointments include Team Leader of Development Control for Ku-ring-gai Council, Tree Review Panel Member for Willoughby Council and he is currently Manager Open Space for Lane Cove Council while maintaining a small Landscape Architecture practice.

Sustainability Experts

Caroline Pidcock – Caroline has been running her own architectural practice for the past 28 years. In addition to her own practice, she is a Spokesperson for Australian Architects Declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency; Chair of 1 Million Women; member of the Beyond Zero Emissions Advisory Committee; a Member of the AIA Climate Action and Sustainability Taskgroup and is the Chair of the AIA Environment Design Guide Advisory Group. She is also teaching at a range of universities in NSW.

Katie Fallowfield – Katie holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Design and is a Green Star Accredited Professional, NatHERS accredited Assessor and a LEED Accredited Professional. She has over 14 years’ experience in the Property Industry, and has worked as a Sustainable Design Consultant for WSP for over 12 years, providing design advice on major and minor developments ranging from precinct master planning and design, through to single dwelling or shop fit-out scale.